Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

Jason Aldean Shares The Touching Life Lesson He Learned From Toby Keith—And It Has Little To Do With The Music Industry

Toby Keith Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean remembered Toby Keith for his “unapologetic” attitude ahead of the ACMs earlier this week.

Jason and fellow country star Blake Shelton paid tribute to the late Toby Keith during the Academy of Country Music awards ceremony on May 16th. After an emotional speech by Blake, Toby took the stage to sing Toby’s iconic hit, Should’ve Been a Cowboy. But before covering the song, Jason spoke with Fox News and shared why Toby meant so much to him.

As he told the publication, Jason Aldean looked up to Toby Keith because of his ability to speak his mind without fear of backlash. The late singer was outspoken about most things, including his stance on religion and politics, which are typically subjects that people stay away from.

“For me, personally, he was a guy that I feel like … just always spoke his mind,” Jason said. “He said what he thought, whether it was the popular opinion or not. And it wasn’t, you know, it didn’t always go well for him, and he didn’t care. I mean, it was something that if he felt strongly about it and felt like it was something he believed in, he was going to speak his mind.”

Jason Aldean Got Some “Pretty Good” Advice From Toby Keith

Jason and Toby were both friends and collaborators. In fact, Toby surprised an audience in October when he walked on stage during a Jason Aldean concert and the two sang a duet. The event was one of Toby’s final live performances.

Toby, who broke into the country music scene in the early 90s, was also a mentor to Jason, and the lessons Jason learned from the legendary singer weren’t just about making it in the business. Jason took Toby’s “unapologetic” attitude to heart.

“You can still be an artist and be true to who you are and go out and not be afraid to speak out,” Jason continued. “And I think that was something that always kinda stood with me. Never apologize for being patriotic You know, just being not afraid to speak your mind—stand up for what you believe in, and whether other people agree with it or not, be who you are and be unapologetic about it. And I think that’s pretty good advice.”

This story’s featured image is by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for BMI.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.